Zimbabwe tour: Rahane to lead; Dhoni, Kohli rested

Tags: India tour of Zimbabwe 2015, India, Zimbabwe

Published on: Jun 29, 2015

ZIM vs IND 2015 Schedule, Squads: Just days after being dropped for the last two one-dayers of the series in Bangladesh, Ajinkya Rahane was, on Monday.

Just days after being dropped for the last two one-dayers of the series in Bangladesh, Ajinkya Rahane was, on Monday, chosen as the captain of the second-string squad that would take part in three ODIs and two T20s in Zimbabwe. As expected a number of seniors were rested for the tour. They include Test captain Virat Kohli, ODI skipper MS Dhoni, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, and experienced middle-order bat Suresh Raina. Among those dropped were Ravindra Jadeja, who has had a torrid time in international cricket of late, and Umesh Yadav, who struggled badly against Bangladesh after an impressive World Cup campaign.

Sandeep Patil, the chairman of the selectors, confirmed to the media that the players themselves requested for rest this time. With Dhoni not part of the tour, the selectors have chosen three players who can don the gloves. They include Robin Uthappa, who can also open the innings. Then, there is Kedar Jadhav, who has earned a place following some stellar domestic efforts. Ambati Rayudu, who too can keep wickets, has also retained his place. Interestingly, it was Rayudu who had replaced Rahane in the last two games in Bangladesh.

Another interesting selection has been than of Harbhajan Singh, who has been recalled to the ODI side, after being handed his Test comeback in Bangladesh. With Ravichandran Ashwin being rested, Harbhajan could find himself leading the spin attack, which would, in a manner, complete his return from obscurity as far as international cricket is concerned. The other spinners in the team are Axar Patel, featured in the ODI series in Bangladesh, and legspinner Karn Sharma, who has been chosen as the third spinning option.

Murali Vijay, whose limited overs career hasn't quite taken off in spite of his exploits in the IPL, gets another chance to resurrect his one-day career. With no Dhawan and Rohit, Vijay is likely to open the innings with Rahane. Among the other batsmen who find a place in the squad are Manish Pandey and Manoj Tiwary. Among the bowlers, medium-pacers Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma have kept their spots. Sandeep Sharma has been chosen as the fresh face in this department. He had an excellent IPL for Punjab, and was impressive in the Vijay Hazare games as well.

The selectors also announced the squad for the India A team that will play two four-day games against Australia A in Chennai. Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the squad which also includes Umesh Yadav and Amit Mishra.

ODI squad: Ajinkya Rahane (c), M Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma.

India A squad: KL Rahul, Abhinav Mukund, Cheteshwar Pujara (c), Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Naman Ojha, Vijay Shankar, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Shardul Thakur, Varun Aaron, Abhimanyu Mithun, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Gopal, B Aparajith

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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